AN HOUR after the inauguration of state-of-the-art health and sports facilities by UT Administrator V P Singh Badnore in the presence of Member of Parliament Kirron Kher Monday, the doors of these buildings were found locked. Chandigarh Newsline found that both facilities were far from ready, with staff and all vital equipment missing.
No beds, no doctors
At around 12 noon, a 100-bed hospital in Sector 48 constructed at a cost of Rs 28 crore was inaugurated with great fanfare. Officials said the four-storey structure — equipped with OPD, labs, doctors’ room, chemist and paramedical facilities — was spread over 1.73 acres and would cater to the medical needs of the southern part of the city.
Soon after the inauguration, Newsline visited the premises and all it found on ground were two officials of the engineering wing rushing to lock up its doors. The hospital had no doctor, no beds, no staff, no paramedical facility, not even a first aid box. The building wore a deserted look as workers rushed to roll up the ‘red carpet’ laid for Badnore, Kher and other officers.
“It will take a lot of time for this building to become functional. The administration has to appoint the staff and procure furniture, beds, machinery etc. The administration is still in talks with the health department to make this building functional,” said an official.
Empty rooms under lock and key
Newsline then visited the sports complex of Sector 50, minutes after its inauguration. Though an entrance gate was open, the door leading to the facility was locked, preventing access to badminton courts, coach room, a gymnasium and swimming pool. There was no water in the swimming pool. “Though we have tanks, the pool has not been connected to them,” a security guard at the entrance said.
The same story played out at the newly-inaugurated sports complex in Sector 38 West. The main gate was locked. “Abhi yahan kuch nahi hai…sab khaali pada hai…bahut mahine lagenge abhi ise chalne mein (There is nothing inside, all the rooms are bare, it will take several months for this facility to become operational),” said the security guard at the entrance.
The Sector 56 sports complex was also locked up after inauguration. Local councillor Satish Kainth said he had questioned UT Chief Engineer Mukesh Anand. “Nothing has been planned yet. Even the administration does not know who will run the complex, who will manage it and when the equipment will come,” he added.
Apart from the four projects, Badnore and MP Kher also inaugurated the Mental Health Institute in Sector 32 and Block A of the Govt. Rehabilitation Institute for Intellectual Disabilities, Sector 31. Congress leader and former Union Minister Pawan Bansal told Newsline, “People have been fobbed. Inauguration is done once the buildings are functional for people. An inauguration is meaningless if a sports complex or hospital is without any staff or equipment.’’
What they have to say
While UT Chief Engineer Mukesh Anand did not respond to calls, a senior official of the engineering wing said, “We had completed the construction 4-5 months ago. It is the work of the health department and in case of the sports complex, the work of sports department to get the equipment and staff in place.” Director, UT sports department, Tejdeep Saini told Newsline, “We were just told last week in writing by engineering that the work is complete. Today it has been inaugurated. Lot needs to be done like appointing coaches, house keeping, membership procedure, equipment. I assure that within two weeks, upto March 15, we will make it functional.”